May 9, 1986
Tyson Foods of Springdale (Washington County) became the world’s largest poultry producer when it finished the acquisition of all the capital stock of Lane Processing, Inc., of Grannis (Polk County). The acquisition increased Tyson’s employment from about 20,300 to about 24,000. Although one of the Arkansas’s major economic success stories, the poultry industry faced several challenges by the end of the 1990s, particularly with regard to labor disputes in its processing plants and environmental concerns stemming from the problem of poultry-waste runoff. However, by the early twenty-first century, poultry production had become an essential component of Arkansas’s economy, and Tyson Foods—with plants and products in more than eighty countries—had annual revenues exceeding two billion dollars.